General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the world’s leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), opened a new customer service center in Dresden, Germany on Oct. 5.
The center provides sustainment capabilities for MQ-9 fleets in and near Europe, providing customer convenience and expanding opportunities for European aerospace suppliers.
The service center is a key part of General Atomics’ European Regional Sustainment Network (ERSN). The ERSN leverages the European supply base and creates new repair capabilities that will reduce repair “turn-around-time” and the cost of MQ-9 support.
“Our sustainment services are flexible and reliable,” said Linden P. Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “With ERSN, we’ll deliver better support while creating jobs through industry partners. We’re listening to our customers and acting on their desire to establish sustainment capability in Europe.”
“ERSN not only improves supply chain efficiency, but also enhances European sovereignty and security of supply,” said Rudolf Meinhardt, managing director of GA Europe.
As of Oct. 16, GA-ASI customers will have batteries repaired regionally by MADES, located in Malaga, Spain. “MADES is very proud to become the first MQ-9 component repair center outside of the United States,” said Jean Franco Montalvan, MADES Managing Director. “MADES has demonstrated the level of capability and performance that a company like GA-ASI requires from an international partner. It opens up new avenues of collaboration between the two companies that we trust will materialize in the coming years.”
In addition, Belgium’s SABCA was selected to provide depot maintenance services for electromechanical actuators used on MQ-9.
ERSN embodies GA’s goal of pursuing industry partnerships with European companies, which has continued for more than a decade. GA-ASI engages with industry across Europe on projects for manufacturing, operations and maintenance, research and development, engineering services, and payload development.
The new MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPAS incorporates components and technologies from partners across Europe. Major subsystems produced in Europe include: GKN Aerospace’s diagonal stabilizers produced in the United Kingdom and landing gear from The Netherlands; SATCOM-radomes from SABCA in Belgium; payload enclosure systems (such as the NATO Pod) from SENER Aeroespacial in Spain; radar and Electronic Surveillance Measure (ESM) systems from Leonardo in the UK; Aircraft Survivability and Electronic Warfare management systems from TERMA in Denmark; and sonobuoy dispenser systems from AEREA in Italy.